On Wednesday, Feb. 25, all our evening church activities, including our midweek REFRESH worship & prayer service, were cancelled due to the threat of dangerous wintry weather conditions. We encouraged everyone to stay home & pray. I even used #stayhomeandpray as a hashtag on Twitter that day.
But, something really cool happened that Wednesday evening. I had sent out a mass text that morning to our church FAMILY to inform them of the cancellation of the evening’s activities (I’m known for my text messages! Just ask any CWBC member! Ha!). But, then it hit me: Although we weren’t going to be physically together at the church facility that night, why couldn’t we gather online at our church’s Facebook page (“Come to the Woods!”)? So, in the text, I encouraged everyone to jump on Facebook at 6:00 PM for a time of prayer & encouragement, having no idea what kind of response we would have from this unscheduled, unprecedented, unusual gathering.
So, at 6:00 sharp, I started the thread & welcomed anyone who was joining in. Then, it happened.
“Ding…ding…ding…ding…ding…” – One person after another logged in to meet with other believers online to share their hearts in praise, prayer, needs, concerns, & blessings.
“Ding…ding…ding…ding…” – They just kept coming! Within the first few minutes, there were 25, 30, 35, 40 people entering into the conversation, ending up with well over 60, maybe 70 folks participating by the time the service ended an hour & 20 minutes later! Not only did our members who normally attend REFRESH get in on the prayer time, but former members who now live in Louisiana & Missouri logged in.
One of our members lives & works during the week in a town about 75 miles south of us, meaning that she’s not able to attend our regular midweek REFRESH service. But, she was able to be with us for this service, commenting in the thread of how much it meant to her to be able to share with her brothers & sisters in Christ during the Facebook REFRESH service.
Words of praise & thanksgiving for answered prayers were lifted up…serious prayer needs were shared in the thread…burdens were placed into the conversation w/ intercession immediately happening for them…Scripture was shared & applied to various prayer needs…we even had some humor interjected (again…a VERY normal thing that happens on Wednesday nights!) Someone suggested we “sing” as we normally do when we gather. So, I asked the group, “If we were to sing, what song would you be singing right now?” Immediately, the thread lit up with, “How great is our God…” “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…” “Victory in Jesus…” “When peace like a river attendeth my way…It is well w/ my soul…” “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…” “How great Thou art…” It was a beautiful moment of worship!
The prayer thread continued to grow…missionaries were lifted up…the persecuted Church was prayed for…intercession was made for the President & government leaders…we cried out to God for salvation for the lost…families & marriages were prayed for…we asked for healing for the sick, the downtrodden, the hurting…our Church was fervently prayed over…The Spirit continued to move & lead & convict & encourage & strengthen…God was glorified & the Church was edified!
We finally wound it down & concluded this amazing service after well over an hour of the Church FAMILY doing what a Church FAMILY is SUPPOSED to do! Jesus said, “My house is to be a house of prayer…” (Matthew 21:13). I just never dreamed that “house” would include Facebook! Isn’t God awesome!!!